Guest post: Peter Russell gives his insights on Rob Grover’s SCIRT evening

Rob Grover xsmall

Rob Grover

What: Website audience analysis for SCIRT

Who: Rob Grover, technical communicator

Where: TCANZ Wellington Branch event, 5:30 pm, 10 February 2015

TCANZ Wellington kicked off 2015 with an account from Rob Grover of his website audience analysis for SCIRT, the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team—the horizontal rebuild, that is: roads, footpaths, drains and the like. Rob’s self-introduction talked of his passion for music and his need for a paying day job—technical communication. Interestingly, the first hit when you Google “Rob Grover” is Facebook telling you “Rob Grover is a singer songwriter based in Canterbury New Zealand.”

Rob loves the technical communication, too, as was clearly evident in telling his part in building and leaving a useful learning legacy derived from what the various participants in SCIRT have done to rebuild the city’s infrastructure. Discovering the audience (users) for this legacy and their various information needs and vocabularies, segmenting them into identifiable types, creating recognizable personas, telling stories (true ones!) on cards for card-sorting by invited participants—Rob used all this to create a body of knowledge that would inform the design and content of the website. “But”, says Rob, “One of the greatest things I learnt was how to write an email to a senior manager’s secretary that would get me one hour of her boss’s time”. Yes, a most useful skill!

The small but highly engaged audience very much appreciated Rob’s account, with a few involved in similar work maintaining a lively flow of questions and discussion.

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